How much history and/or philosphy do you teach?

SahBumNimRush

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Rather than derailing Rumy73's thread: http://www.martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php/107849-Poor-sense-of-philosophy-and-history, I figured that I would start another one.

IF you teach an art that focuses on personal development, how much time do you devote to physical vs. history vs. philosophy? For me, I have a day job, and I teach 4 classes, 2 nights a week. My beginners class gets the general introduction to the moral and ethical teachings of MDK TKD interspersed with the dojang ettiquette and physical training, i.e. no lectures, lengthy descriptions etc.. . as I see this detracting from the physical training.

In my advanced classes, we occassionally spend 10-20 minutes on history, philosophy, etc.. . maybe once per month, but it then leads into a physical aspect of our training.
 

Xue Sheng

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As much as anyone I teach wants to know.

However I tend not to volunteer much and that is just the nature of the beast in CMA based on my background and those I have called sifu
 

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Rather than derailing Rumy73's thread: http://www.martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php/107849-Poor-sense-of-philosophy-and-history, I figured that I would start another one.

IF you teach an art that focuses on personal development, how much time do you devote to physical vs. history vs. philosophy? For me, I have a day job, and I teach 4 classes, 2 nights a week. My beginners class gets the general introduction to the moral and ethical teachings of MDK TKD interspersed with the dojang ettiquette and physical training, i.e. no lectures, lengthy descriptions etc.. . as I see this detracting from the physical training.

In my advanced classes, we occassionally spend 10-20 minutes on history, philosophy, etc.. . maybe once per month, but it then leads into a physical aspect of our training.

About the same. I have a day job (well, it's nights, but you get the point...). We have 5 classes on 3 days, and may add one more. Frankly, those that are interested in the non-physical side get it more from their own research and from informal talks before and after class.
 

frank raud

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These days, I pretty much only teach WWII combatives, and I teach in seminars only. I always include historical references and information.
 

clfsean

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As much as anyone I teach wants to know.

However I tend not to volunteer much and that is just the nature of the beast in CMA based on my background and those I have called sifu

Ditto that, but there are things that need to be known (lineage, history of "X", reasons why things are done a certain way, etc...) at times. Not all the time & not family business, but if it's something to keep a younger classmate or student from opening their mouth & being viewed as an uncooth & stupid idiot on a basic topic, they'll get it.
 

K-man

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I probably talk about history, in some sense, every class. We often discuss legal and ethical issues because we are purely RBSD. Philosophy? Not really and I can't see the need. I read widely and I encourage my guys to do likewise but we have little enough time in class as it is. :asian:
 

Chris Parker

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Every single moment of every single class. It's impossible not to, really.

The history structures the techniques, giving it the cultural contexts. And the philosophy (of a martial art) is expressed through the training methods and techniques, so just by training physically, you're training the philosophical side.
 

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Every single moment of every single class. It's impossible not to, really.

The history structures the techniques, giving it the cultural contexts. And the philosophy (of a martial art) is expressed through the training methods and techniques, so just by training physically, you're training the philosophical side.

This! Every single lesson about movement, form, stance, balance, is imbued with philosophy. Often we reflect on history here and there throughout the class. It's subtle, at first people don't even really think about philosophy but you can see it begin to manifest within them.
 

Jaeimseu

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Every single moment of every single class. It's impossible not to, really.

The history structures the techniques, giving it the cultural contexts. And the philosophy (of a martial art) is expressed through the training methods and techniques, so just by training physically, you're training the philosophical side.

This is very similar to studying a language. You can learn a lot about a culture and the way that culture thinks from its language, even without a real focus on philosophy.
 
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SahBumNimRush

SahBumNimRush

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Every single moment of every single class. It's impossible not to, really.

The history structures the techniques, giving it the cultural contexts. And the philosophy (of a martial art) is expressed through the training methods and techniques, so just by training physically, you're training the philosophical side.

Very well put Sir, this best expresses how I teach classes. Rather than lengthy lectures, putting things in context during practice. Constant reinforcement, with context, so that the techniques make more sense.
 
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SahBumNimRush

SahBumNimRush

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it's something to keep a younger classmate or student from opening their mouth & being viewed as an uncooth & stupid idiot on a basic topic, they'll get it.

That's something I try to keep consistent, everyone in class knows what I expect from their behavior, and more importantly, they understand why from a cultural perspective. Well, at least the ones mature enough to understand.. .
 
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SahBumNimRush

SahBumNimRush

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informal talks before and after class.

I have a few students that are hungry for that type of historical/philosophical knowledge, and this is where I find it most appropriate to discuss those topics. That way it doesn't detract from the rest of class.
 

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I also publish a lot of these kinds of lessons on my website for students who are hungry for greater depth of knowledge. Futhermore I encourage my students to read books and check other sources besides me.
 

oftheherd1

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I haven't taught for some while. When I did, I tried to put into context those things which might not make ready sense to a western student, but it wasn't a long drawn out thing. Most of the rest was just comments when it seemed appropriate on history or culture when asked, or if I thought there was a reason. I wasn't taught a lot of philosophy or history so I didn't teach a lot either.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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Rather than derailing Rumy73's thread: http://www.martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php/107849-Poor-sense-of-philosophy-and-history, I figured that I would start another one.

IF you teach an art that focuses on personal development, how much time do you devote to physical vs. history vs. philosophy? For me, I have a day job, and I teach 4 classes, 2 nights a week. My beginners class gets the general introduction to the moral and ethical teachings of MDK TKD interspersed with the dojang ettiquette and physical training, i.e. no lectures, lengthy descriptions etc.. . as I see this detracting from the physical training.

In my advanced classes, we occassionally spend 10-20 minutes on history, philosophy, etc.. . maybe once per month, but it then leads into a physical aspect of our training.
Personal development is a pretty vague term. Whether your teaching focuses on self defense, fitness, sports, or some other element of the martial arts, you are developing your students and they are developing themselves personally.

Personal development could mean almost anything, depending on what you're trying to develop.

I give my students the background behind certain elements of the arts that I teach. Etiquette is simply a part of the class in every class. The students do not get an option. I use vocabulary and terminology appropriate to the art. For example, in teaching kendo, I call forms kata (and each kata is called by it's name; ipponme, nihonme, etc. rather than 'one, two, three'), I call the cut/parry exercise kirikaeshi, I call the squatting kneel sonkyu, and I call the various technical exercises waza. I will explain the philosophy behind elements of the art when I am teaching those elements, but I do not spend class time regularly explaining philosopy or history.

If they wish to learn more about the non-technical elements of the art than what I include in my classes, I am happy chat with them and/or to direct them to more comprehensive sources.
 
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SahBumNimRush

SahBumNimRush

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Personal development is a pretty vague term.

Excuse the vagueness of my post, but by personal development I am referring to emphasis of mental, spiritual, ethical, moral teachings that come along with the physical training in may "DO" styles to foster a holistic development of the person in character, spirit, mental and physical fitness.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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Excuse the vagueness of my post, but by personal development I am referring to emphasis of mental, spiritual, ethical, moral teachings that come along with the physical training in may "DO" styles to foster a holistic development of the person in character, spirit, mental and physical fitness.
Apologies; it wasn't that your post was vague. Actually, I think that it is a worthwhile topic.

More that the term itself rather vague, but it is used a lot. If I recall, the post you were referring back to was specifically remarking disappointment in historical knowledge, with references to sport and personal development. And both terms are open to interpretation.
 

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This is very similar to studying a language. You can learn a lot about a culture and the way that culture thinks from its language, even without a real focus on philosophy.

This really is true. In essence, I believe learning a martial art is very much like learning a language; our end goal is to be able to "speak it" fluently, and as naturally as our native language. It's simply a phyiscal medium rather than verbal or written. And in either case, learning the cultural context of the language is necessary, as languages are entirely dependant on context; whether in a broad, or specific sense.
 

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Both styles I study have History tests at about Brown belt or so and again at shodan. History is important and by 3rd kyu or so you see the value as you study the history. I would encourage any instructor to include history of the style and the influences on it in the curriculum of the dojo.
 
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